Legal word of the week-[Receipt]- Series by Alan M L Jones.

FICL brings "Legal word of the week" Series by Alan M L Jones, Lawyer, teacher and skills coach based out of London. Creator of ACE Legal English online courses for corporate lawyers.
Legal word of the week-[Receipt]- Series by Alan M L Jones.


"Please also provide us with a copy of the receipt for of payment sent by X to Y in respect of….."

1 “a receipt for payment” and “a receipt”

– a piece of paper confirming that the payee has received the money. Countable noun.

Here's a blank (i.e. not yet completed / filled in) receipt from a receipt book full of blanks.

2 “^ receipt of payment” and “^ receipt”

– a fact. i.e. the fact that the payee has received the money. Uncountable noun.

Also used when talking of receiving things other than money such as documents.

3 To reimburse, n reimbursement

When you take a taxi for work, you will want the firm to reimburse the cost. The Finance Department will do this so long as you have evidence that you took a taxi and of how much it cost.

At the end of the journey, you pay the taxi driver by handing over money. When you do so, he confirms ^ receipt of the money - in this case also called "the fare" - by issuing a receipt. It is this receipt which the Finance Department will want before it reimburses you.

a) You reimburse somebody for something - you for the cost of the taxi / the taxi fare.

b) You reimburse somebody - you.

c) You reimburse something - the cost of the taxi / the taxi fare.

4 To disburse, n disbursement

If you took the taxi on office business, the firm bears the cost. However, if you were on client business, the firm would want the client to reimburse it for the cost of the taxi fare.

This will be done by showing the taxi fare as a disbursement on the bill / invoice to the client.

"To disburse funds to the borrower" is an old-fashioned banking term but it gives us the meaning of a payment - or disbursement - which a law firm makes on behalf of a client for which the firm expects to be reimbursed. e.g. fares, court fees etc

Of course, the law firm will only disburse relatively small amounts on behalf of clients. For large sums of money, it will only pay them on behalf of the client if the client has "put the law firm in funds" ( i.e. paid the firm money) before the payment is due.

If you think that all this talk of paper receipts is "very twentieth century" (i.e. old-fashioned), you're right. However apps and online payment don't provide such a good example for a language teacher!

About Alan M L Jones

Qualified as a solicitor more than 35 years ago and has practised for many years mostly in London but also further afield in Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Tokyo. Alan has been both a lawyer and a communication / language teacher for years and used his experience to create the ACE Legal English online courses for non-native speaker lawyers. The courses are very engaging and relevant and are the first of their kind.